Gov. Doug Ducey and Benchmark President and CEO Paul Tufano among many other Benchmark executives cut the blue Benchmark ribbon to their new headquarters on Friday morning.
The original headquarters were 30 miles south of Houston, and most of the leadership team would be remote. Jan Janick, the CTO of Benchmark, said that when Paul Tufano became the president and CEO, he decided he needed to have his team together.
“(Tufano) said, ‘I need my team together. We need to be together because the industry moves fast. We have to have communication. We need to be more efficient. So we’re going to move our headquarters, and we’re all going to be at headquarters,’” Janick said.
“We looked at a number of places and we ended up in Phoenix for a number of reasons. ASU is an outstanding source of technical expertise and engineers and programmers and technical skills that we need as we continue to grow the company. And ASU reached out to us very early on in the process and very much portrayed a willingness and experience with working with corporate America. We were very impressed,” Janick said.
Originally, they thought that the partnership between Benchmark and Arizona State University would just consist of the university generating technical skills in students that Benchmark could hire. “They certainly do that, but in addition to that, we’ve had access to programs where our engineering teams give a small program to the engineering school, they do programs for us, so we get an outside view and look at some of the technical challenges we might have,” Janick said.
Benchmark is also on a number of committees with the university and have access to the professors’ expertise. “If we have a technical challenge that we need help with, we know exactly how to reach the professors or the technical experts with the university,” Janick said. They are also in the process of establishing relationships with the University of Arizona and Grand Canyon University as well.
Janick also said they wanted a location with “an existing technology pool” and “the ability to recruit technical skills.” It also helps that there is easy access to an international airport.
“We will as a corporate team here in Benchmark affect (the Arizona community) in a couple of ways,” Janick said. “We will be hiring both headquarter skills and technical skills as we build up our headquarters and because we moved headquarters here, we are also building a number of technical innovation centers here as well, so we will bring technical jobs into the Valley.” According to Gov. Doug Ducey, Benchmark will bring 500 new jobs to the Valley.
Tufano said the company is “committed to driving advancements in technology.” Many of Benchmark’s ideas for the future were on display, including a truck intended for border surveillance and a medical device aimed at decreasing the time it takes to receive blood test results.
Ducey congratulated Benchmark “on its rebirth in Arizona” and he was proud that their headquarters were no longer in Texas.
“You know, as governor, I take a lot of pride in luring Benchmark to Arizona from Texas, but it should really come as no surprise,” Ducey said. “Arizona offers a strong and growing aerospace and defense sector. We have quick access to national markets and a world-class international airport. We’ve got the opportunity to grow and thrive alongside leaders, students and graduates from Grand Canyon University and number one most innovative university in the nation, Arizona State. To Benchmark, you may be 40 years, but today is a new beginning at new headquarters,” Ducey said. “And the future is bright.”